Backers of Colorado Ballot Proposal Urge Voters to “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol”

Backers of a ballot proposal in Colorado to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana are urging voters to “regulate marijuana like alcohol,” The New York Times reports.

The proposal is likely to be on the November ballot, the article notes. Mason Tvert, a co-director of the group that has led the ballot drive, Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, says the goal of the initiative is “to make our communities safer by regulating this substance, taking it out of the underground market, controlling it and better keeping it away from young people.”

Medical marijuana is legal in Colorado. The number of dispensaries has grown, and 80,558 state residents had medical marijuana cards as of November 2011, according to the state Department of Public Health. There is much debate within Colorado about medical marijuana—85 communities in the state have banned or stopped openings of dispensaries.

Proponents of marijuana legalization have also submitted signatures for a ballot proposal in Washington state, according to the article.

Colorado’s Attorney General, John W. Suthers, opposes medical marijuana. “It’s largely state-sanctioned fraud,” he said. “We have thousands and thousands of people lying to doctors, saying they have a debilitating medical condition.”

Supporters of the proposal acknowledge the medical marijuana law has led to abuse, and say legalizing marijuana would solve the problem. They argue that Prohibition demonstrated the problems with banning or improperly regulating a substance that many people use anyway.

Medical marijuana providers are largely supporting the ballot proposal, the newspaper states.

Earlier this month, Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh said 23 marijuana dispensaries located near schools in Colorado that received warning letters telling them they must shut down should take the warning seriously. He said the letters informed the dispensaries and their landlords they have until February 27 to shut down, move or face federal penalties. Owners of the dispensaries and the property on which they are located could lose their assets and property. He added that criminal prosecution is also possible.

4 Responses to Backers of Colorado Ballot Proposal Urge Voters to “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol”

  1. Sandra | January 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I sure hope this measure passes. This measure which allows individuals to grow a small number of cannabis plants for their own use, or to possess a few ounces for their own use, and regulates sales, should knock the bottom out of the gangs’ profits in each state that enacts it. Let’s not forget that in almost every High School surveyed, students said it was easier to obtain marijuana than alcohol. I wonder what the effect on availability would be if they were regulated similarly.

    • renaldi1 | January 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      It only makes sense. History documents how poorly abolition worked for alcohol and it is far more damaging to the body than marijuana. That includes prenatal issues. Regulate and tax it so that we can all benefit from it. In Michigan it is legal as medical only; however, I don’t think it will take long for it to be regulated here.

  2. maxwood | January 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    This proposal mentions “marijuana accoessories” defined to include inhalant vaporizing equipment. In the spirit of control (which I note in this document extends to a societal distrust of youngsters under 21 to use moderately and safely), perhaps the proposal could best promote public safety if amended to include guidelines for manufacture and use of inexpensive “one-hitter”-style utensils which limit serving size to 25 mg of pre-sifted herb per light-up (compared to 500-mg joint), and instructions for non-ignite vaporizing via a “heat gap” maintained by keeping any lighter flame at least an inch below the opening of the utensil, with the aim of drawing 385F vaporizing-temperature air in upon the herb.

  3. doogiem | February 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I hope it passes, too. And I hope all States eventually put such proposals on their ballots, as many times as it takes.
    Smart move — to title the proposal as Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (v.s. “legalize marijuana”).

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